Six things to know before targeting CEOs

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How do you win the attention, hearts and minds of business leaders around the world?

When creating and distributing content specifically for the consumption of global decision makers, it’s necessary to wear many hats. TV, event and digital production skills are all required in order to make content for every one of the few situations where CEOs are in the mood to consume.

We’ve developed a framework of CEO-engaging guidelines that we share here, along with some examples of our work that illustrate these principles in practice.

Be relevant and cut to the chase: If anybody’s time is money, it’s a CEO’s. So keep your communication short and your content to the point. change them to: In one case, we spent weeks researching complex business issues for the official TV channel of an annual international business forum. However, the information was then condensed into animated videos that were just two minutes long.

Be patient: When CEOs share videos, it’s most often by email (one-to-one versus one-to-many), which makes trending slower. So make content with a long shelf life. One example is a video we produced for businessman Shafik Gabr to showcase his private art collection. It continues to increase its views every month three years after it was posted online.

Be a human: Replace faceless mail-outs and   e-newsletters with ‘personalisation at scale’. And expect to go the extra mile to get a result – literally, if need be. When booking speakers for our ‘African Renaissance’ event at the World Economic Forum in Davos recently, two event organisers were flown to Nigeria to secure panellists in person.

Be a connector: CEOs have few places to turn for trusted advice and ideas, so they are interested in the views of other CEOs and of respected achievers in any field. PwC, for example, uses our services to conduct an annual interview series of 40 CEOs, because it wants to help clients benefit from the views of peers.

Be entertaining: Content with heft and relevance still needs to be enjoyable to read or watch. In this animated video, we used Monopoly as a metaphor to tell a story about the challenges related to quantitative easing.

Be at the right place at the right time: Mornings are for news, evenings are for insight and enjoyment, flights are for movies, and events are for catching up with people and gathering information.  And never ask a CEO to watch a video that’s more than three minutes long during the day!

About the author

Roslyn Shaw, Managing Director, Alpha Grid